Siméon Denis Poisson facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Siméon Poisson



Siméon Denis Poisson (17811840)


Born  Pithiviers, Loiret

21 June 1781
Died  25 April 1840 
(aged 58)
Nationality  France 
Alma mater  École Polytechnique 
Known for  Poisson process Poisson equation Poisson kernel Poisson distribution Poisson bracket Poisson regression Poisson summation formula Poisson's spot Poisson's ratio Poisson zeros Conway–Maxwell–Poisson distribution Euler–Poisson–Darboux equation 
Scientific career  
Fields  Mathematics 
Institutions  École Polytechnique Bureau des Longitudes Faculté des Sciences École de SaintCyr 
Doctoral advisor  Joseph Louis Lagrange PierreSimon Laplace 
Doctoral students  Michel Chasles Lejeune Dirichlet Joseph Liouville 
Other notable students  Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot 
Siméon Denis Poisson ( 21 June 1781 in Pithiviers  25 April 1840 in Sceaux, near Paris) was a French mathematician and physicist. From 1798 he studied mathematics at the École Polytechnique, where he met PierreSimon Laplace and JosephLouis Lagrange. In 1802 he became professor, in 1806 he took the position Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier had before him. Napoleon sent Fourier to Grenoble. Poisson was a disciple of Laplace. Poisson worked on the mathematical bases of wave theory, acoustics, elasticity, electricity and heat. He was also interested in the electric properties of solids. In 1812, he published his extension of Laplace's equation, which allowed its use for electric charge at the surface of solids. In the year 1818, he predicted the existence of a phenomenon called the Poisson spot, in the case that light should have the character of a wave. Poisson thought that was not the case and that it had the character of particles. He had long discussions with AugustinJean Fresnel, who thought that light was indeed a wave. This discussion only ended when Fresnel could show the existence of the spot Poisson had predicted in an experiment. In 1838, Poisson published his ideas on probability theory, which also included what is now known as Poisson distribution. This distribution was already known to Abraham de Moivre.
The relation between pressure and volume in the adiabatic process is constant, this is known as Poisson's Law today. In thermodynamics, the same relation is formulated as a number of equations, which are known as Poisson's equations. Poisson's ratio which gives the amount an object is stretched under load, is also named after him.
His name is one of 72 honored on the Eiffel tower.